Lady Blue Devils set records with 112-47 win

Assist and turnover records set; multiple Blue Devils have career bests

Kansas City Kansas Community College went on the third biggest scoring spree in Blue Devils women’s basketball history Saturday, thanks to the most assists ever in racing to a 122-46 win over Fort Scott.

The win boosted the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils’ record to 13-1 and set up an opportunity to climb into a tie for the Jayhawk Conference lead when they play host to No. 3 Johnson County (13-0) Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. A scheduled men’s game with JCCC has been postponed because of the COVID pandemic.

Johnson County leads the Jayhawk with a 4-0 record followed by KCKCC, 3-1; Highland, 2-2; Fort Scott, 1-3; and Hesston, 0-4. Labette, the defending champion and No. 2 ranked team in NJCAA Division II, has yet to play a conference game. The Cardinals (9-0) are scheduled for their first conference game Wednesday at Hesston.

The Blue Devils had 39 assists on 51 field goals, bettering the old record of 36 set against Garden City way back in 1996 while the 122 points are the most since 124 posted against Hesston in 2019. The all-time record is 128 points scored against Brown Mackie in 2015.

A third record will go into the record book – 41 turnovers forced by the aggressive Blue Devil defense. There are no past records with 40 or more turnovers in a single game.

Fort Scott led by as many as three points early in a first quarter that had one tie and seven lead changes but the under-manned Greyhounds couldn’t stay close against the fast-breaking Blue Devils, who consistently won the race down floor for a flurry of layups. Leading 23-15 after one quarter, KCKCC outscored the Greyhounds 36-6 in the second period for a 59-21 halftime bulge.

Offensively, it was a game of career highs for multiple Blue Devils. Sophomore Tiaira Earnest and freshmen Faith Putz and Lacy Whitcomb all had career highs in scoring; sophomore Mercer Roberts in rebounds and assists; Aysia Arrowood in assists; and De’Jaria Guillory and Trinity McDow in steals.

“A lot of great performances individually but honestly I think that’s a reflection of how well we played as a team,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where we played better on both ends of the floor than we did today. Balanced scoring, tremendous assist numbers across the board and obviously our defense was great in forcing 41 turnovers.”

A freshman from Valley Center, Arrowood came off the bench to lead the assault on the assist record book with eight. Aliyah Myers and Mercer added seven each, Whitcomb six and De’Jaria Guillory four.

Earnest scored as many points in the first half (21) as Fort Scott posted as a team. Earnest had four 3-pointers in her 30-point night while Putz had two in scoring 23 on 10-of-16 shooting. Whitcomb also had four threes and was 6-for-11 in scoring 16 points. Aliyah Myers had 15 points, Roberts 10, Guillory 9, Hannah Valentine 7 and Aysia Arrowood and Trinity McDow 6 each as everyone scored.

Roberts had 11 rebounds and Valentine six although KCKCC lost the battle of the boards 44-38. Guillory and Earnest each had seven steals, McDow five and Myers four as the Blue Devils converted the 31 steals into 51 points.

The Blue Devils were 15-of-25 for 60 percent in the 36-point second quarter and 15-of-22 (.682) in posting 36 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 56 percent for the game. Fort Scott was limited to 17-of-57 shots for 29.8 percent.

20-point duo leads Lady Blue Devils past Highland, 80-63

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Size doesn’t seem to matter, at least to the Kansas City Kansas Community College duo of Aliyah Myers and Tiaria Earnest.

Both guards scored 20 points and terrorized Highland defensively in the Blue Devils’ 80-63 home court win Saturday. It was the second straight game in which both Earnest and Myers have both scored 20 points.

The win boosted the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils’ record to 12-1 heading into a showdown at No. 2 ranked and unbeaten Labette in Parsons Wednesday. Because of COVID, the game will be Labette’s first in Jayhawk Conference play.

A 5-6 guard from Detroit, Earnest also led all rebounders with 11 and had three steals; the 5-7 Myers led in assists and steals with four of each.

Hannah Valentine, who was 5-for-6 from the field, added 15 points and seven rebounds; Aysia Arrowood a career high seven points; Faith Putz six and De’Jaria Guillory four points and six rebounds.

Knocking down 7 of their first 13 shots, the Blue Devils raced to leads of 10-0 and 15-2 in the first five minutes but had to turn back one Highland comeback.

Trailing 24-12 after one quarter, Highland outscored KCKCC 13-1 to start the second period to close to 25-24 and it was still 30-26 before a layup by De’Jaria Guillory and six straight points by Valentine widened the KCKCC lead to 38-26 at the half.

The Scotties never got closer as the Blue Devils stretched their lead to 50-33 in the first five minutes of the third quarter and led by as many as 27.

KCKCC led the rebounding 46-38 and forced 31 turnovers while committing 21.

“Two of our smallest players, Tiaria and DJ (Guillory) combined for 17 rebounds which just shows how much rebounding is a matter of effort,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said.

Earnest’s 20-point effort was her third 20-point game since returning from the injured list seven games back while Myers has been a mainstay both offensively and defensively.

“Both are returners and played significant roles last year so I think that has played into their comfort level and confidence,” McKinstry said. “Hannah Valentine has been better lately. She’s someone I don’t have to call plays for, she’s just active and does it on her own.

“I think this is the fourth time we’ve force 30 or more turnovers and we’ve done it with a man-to-man half-court defense. I’ve said all along this is the fastest and deepest team I’ve ever had. And our guards do a little bit of everything. Highland makes it a little tough because they spread the floor so much.”

Lady Blue Devil quartet scores 73 points in 83-50 win

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

The two shortest starters in the Kansas City Kansas Community College lineup stood tallest in the Blue Devils 83-50 win over Hesston Wednesday night.

Tiaria Earnest, a 5-6 sophomore from Detroit, and 5-7 Derby sophomore Aliyah Myers each scored 20 points and Myers added a near record 10 steals to help boost the Blue Devils’ record to 11-1.

Lacy Whitcomb, a 5-6 freshman from Shawnee Mission South, added 17 points and 5-9 Hannah Valentine 16 as the quartet combined for 73 of KCKCC’s 83 points.

The win also evened the Blue Devils’ Jayhawk Conference record at 1-1 heading into a Saturday afternoon doubleheader clash with Highland starting at 2 p.m. Both the women’s and men’s games will be streamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil website.

In addition to their scoring, Myers had 10 steals, Whitcomb 7 and Earnest 6 as the Blue Devils converted 37 Hesston turnovers into 41 points. The 10 steals by Myers were just two off the KCKCC record and tied her for third all time. She also led in assists with six.

Valentine had eight rebounds and Mercer Roberts and Myers six each as the Blue Devils won the rebounding 47-37. Offensively, the Blue Devils were 33-of-81 for 40.7 percent but only 6-of-29 for .207. Hesston was limited to 17-of- 48 for 35.4 percent and .231 from three.

Leading 15-6 after one quarter, the Blue Devils outscored Hesston 21-5 the first five minutes of the second quarter to lead 36-11. KCKCC led 40-18 at the half with Myers and Earnest scoring 12 points each.